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Vote in the poll to protect Klamath dams

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Debbie Bacigalupi / PPj Contributor

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The Alcohol Revolution

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Alcohol Revolution

Ty Doty More

The New Land Rush: The selling out of America’s farmers

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 Judy Palmer (c)copyright 2010

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If the Chinese acquire large tracts of land here in the United States, food grown will be for import.  This will threaten not only our own independence, but will cause distortions in our food supply and put an end to the local food movement as well. 

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The New Land Rush

The economy continues its slide.  Unemployment remains high, more manufacturing moves overseas with each passing day, the rate of home foreclosures makes the news every hour.  But there is a seemingly bright spot—farm land values have increased 58 percent from their 2000 levels on both a national and global scale.  Because of this, arable land is attracting wealthy investors all over the world.  They hope to profit by either producing crops or leasing the land to farmers.  Mutual funds specializing in the acquisition of agricultural land have been formed to capitalize on the rapidly rising land values, allowing even small investors to reap a share of the rising land values.  In one way, and one way only, this is a good thing.  Beleaguered farmers have ready buyers if they must sell out and may actually realize a profit from the sale of their farms.  But the problems this will cause to society far outweigh any benefits.

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World Bank warns on ‘farmland grab’ trend

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Source: Financial Times

Financial Times | July 27 2010

By Javier Blas in London

Investors in farmland are targeting countries with weak laws, buying arable land on the cheap and failing to deliver on promises of jobs and investments, according to the draft of a report by the World Bank.

“Investor interest is focused on countries with weak land governance,” the draft said. Although deals promised jobs and infrastructure, “investors failed to follow through on their investments plans, in some cases after inflicting serious damage on the local resource base”.

In addition, “the level of formal payments required was low”, making speculation a key motive for purchases. “Payments for land are often waived … and large investors often pay lower taxes than smallholders … or none at all.” More

Global agribusiness: two decades of plunder

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Live Link : GRAIN

We offer a brief overview of the expansion of agribusiness in the global food system in the past two decades, with some thoughts on what we can expect from these companies in the years ahead.______________________________

Back in the early 1990s, many of Seedling’s pages were devoted to discussions about international treaties and public research agendas. Corporations were part of the discussion, but mainly as a looming threat, one group of actors pushing forward the industrial model of agriculture that was destroying agricultural biodiversity. Fast-forward twenty years, and the landscape has changed. Corporate power in the food system has grown by leaps and bounds. Today corporations set the global rules, with governments and public research centres following their lead.

The fall-out of this transformation for the planet’s biodiversity, and the people who look after it, has been devastating. Corporations have used their power to expand monoculture crop production, undermine farmers’ seed systems and cut into local markets. They are making it much more difficult for small farmers to stay on the land and feed their families and communities. This is why social movements are increasingly pointing to food and agribusiness corporations as the problem in the global food system and the focus of their resistance.

Seeds

Over the past two decades the seed industry has been dramatically transformed, from an industry of small seed companies and public programmes to an industry dominated by a handful of transnational corporations (TNCs). Today just ten corporations control half of the global market for commercial seeds (see illustration, “Top 10 corporations’ share of the global seed market”, page 16). Most are pesticide producers focusing on the development of genetically modified (GM) crops that support a chemically intensive agriculture. More

Land grabbing in Latin America

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GRAIN
March 2010

Communities in Latin America and around the world are faced with a new kind of invasion of their territories. Today foreign investors, whether agribusiness companies from Asia and the Gulf or US and European fund managers, are rushing to take over farmland in Latin America.

While media attention has focused on land deals in Africa, at least as much money and more projects are in operation in Latin America, where investors claim that their farmland investments are more secure and less controversial — ignoring the struggles over access to land being waged in practically every country on the continent. These land grabbers operate from a distance and wear a halo of neutrality. They are more difficult to identify and the legal mechanisms that communities can utilise to defend against dispossession, devastation or pollution are not clear.

This latest wave of invasions creates new challenges for communities and social movements in Latin America.

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Stop the global land grab! GRAIN STATEMENT AT THE JOINT GRAIN-LA VIA CAMPESINA MEDIA BRIEFING

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 Rome, 16 November 2009                      Tell a Friend 

http://www.grain.org/o/?id=87

 “The question we should be asking is not “How do we make these investments work?” It is “What farming and food systems will feed people without making them sick, keep farmers on the farm instead of the city slums, and allow communities to prosper and thrive?”

For over a year a half now, we have been watching carefully how investors are trying to take control of farmland in Asia, Africa and Latin America as a response to the food and financial crises. In the beginning, during the early months of 2008, they talked about getting these lands for “food security”, their food security. Gulf State officials began flying around the globe looking for large areas of cultivable land that they could acquire to grow rice to feed their burgeoning populations without relying on international trade. So too were Koreans, Libyans, Egyptians and others. In most of these talks, high-level government representatives were directly involved, peddling new packages of political, economic and financial cooperation with agricultural land transactions smack in the centre. More

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